The award was halted by a 5-3 margin after the auditorium was filled with public speakers from both sides of the debate, reminiscent of last year’s rejection of reversing despite presenting.
The board’s observation on LGBTQ individuals was made in compliance with state and federal law to prevent any conflict with the controversial parental rights law, as it aimed to remind all cultures within our community of the important roles they have played in shaping society, history, legal, and politics.
Teachers are not allowed to teach pre-K through eighth grade students about their gender identity or sexual orientation under the “Don’t Say Gay” policy. This year, the Board of Education issued a new rule that restricts the use of pronouns in schools and could result in teachers losing their educator credentials for teaching students through 12th grade. These policies are part of Florida’s efforts to combat widespread liberalization of books and lessons on race and sexuality.
Those who supported the proclamation, including board member Lucia Baez-Geller, contended that the proposal was a “ceremonial” and “nonbinding” measure to assist LGBTQ students and families. BaEZ-GILLER claimed that opposition to the recognition was driven by the DeSantis administration and Legislature’s anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and agenda. She also clarified that it was not considered controversial when it passed 8-1 two years ago.
Baez-Geller pointed out at the meeting that the Parental Rights in Education bill was not a factor in 2021.
“The war on minorities and those who are already struggling is a result of cultural politics, political agendas, and the ongoing struggle against those in need,” she added.
Nevertheless, the acknowledgement was an unsatisfactory outcome for the conservative members of Miami’s school board, two of whom were supporters and contributors to DeSantis and state Republicans. They contended that the proposal contravened the parental rights laws and opposed it in favor of parents who want to prevent sexualization of their children. Two other members were appointed by DeDassis earlier this year but did not vote against the measure.
Board Vice Chair Danny Espino, a DeSantis appointee, expressed his confusion on how the teacher was expected to recognize, observe, and celebrate this month without being perceived as instruction or “belonging to the line of instruction” by parents.